While foam mattress toppers add a layer of comfort to a bed, some also include chemicals such as fire retardants which were added during the manufacturing process. The foam itself, such as memory foam, might also be made of synthetic materials which bear a chemical-like odor or emit fibers as the chemicals off-gas or evaporate in the air.

Flame-Retardant Factors

Memory foam, a polyurethane-based substance, is flammable, and so are a number of other mattress and mattress-topper materials, if left untreated. Federal requirements put in 2007 from the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission demand all mattresses to meet standards which restrict the harshness of flames in event of a fire. Flame retardants are added to mattresses to meet that standard. You’ll breathe in a single retardant, PBDE, or polybrominated diphenyl ethers, as you rest upon the topper, and it might develop in bodily tissues over time. It might cause health concerns, especially for those who have chemical sensitivities.


Formaldehyde, the identical chemical used to preserve specimens examined at a biology class, is found in numerous household materials — from plywood to textiles and upholstery — and is often utilized to keep material looking neat and wrinkle-free. Some foam mattress toppers may include formaldehyde, which includes a distinctive pungent scent. It may cause headaches, coughing and wellness concerns.

Toluene Diisocyanate

Toluene Diisocyanate, or TDI, is a compound used to manufacture some memory foam mattresses and toppers. This compound, a carcinogen, off-gasses, emitting fumes which may be breathed in because of close proximity to the bed topper. It might trigger asthma symptoms in case you are sensitive to chemicals.

Methylene Chloride

Methylene chloride can be used to adhere materials together in constructing mattresses and at times toppers. It’s considered a volatile organic compound and emits fibers that, if breathed in, might cause health concerns, especially for those who have chemical sensitivity.